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Changed all fluids on my new to me 2007 FJ. Cleaned all threads before torquing to specs but evidently had some oil on the T-case drain plug and stripped with torque wrench. I thought I was compressing the new washer but stripped half the threads. Reinstalled with Teflon tape and seems to be sealed - has not leaked in 6 weeks but would like a more permanent repair. Half of the threads were still good.
Any input on the Eco Drain Plug repair product? Here is the web page -

Thanks in advance. I have learned a ton searching the “Blue” forum and I love my FJ!
 

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I'd rather repair the threads, than use some kind of quickie rubber plug like that "eco plug" looks like.

Helicoil, or TimeSert have given excellent results for me many times in the past, on a variety of stripped threads.

Note the sealing surface is the face, not the threads, so no need to worry about a leak around a thread repair like the above.

the most ham fisted repair is to drill it out and thread for a bigger diameter plug, because then the original could never be used again (some people prefer this method because the helicoil and timesert kits are not cheap, but I think its well worth keeping the original size)

Norm
 

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Yeah, scrap any kind of makeshift rubber plug fix.

But something doesn't make sense here. You attribute the stripped out drain plug threads to having oil on them, but obviously, EVERY oil drain plug MUST have oil on both the male and female threads.
Were you using a bending-beam or clicker-type torque wrench?
What torque value did you apply?

A Helicoil is not ideal for this application for several reasons. The low-cost, readily-available 'tang-type' Helicoils use a bent-over tang on the ID to allow them to be driven into the freshly-tapped oversize hole, but then the tang must be broken off and recovered. Tang-less Helicoils are great, but they are harder to find, and require special and very expensive installation tools.

A Time-Cert is probably best, but it takes skill and experience to install on a T-case that's still in the vehicle: drilling, counterboring, tapping, and finally driving in the insert, while holding everything perfectly square, all while working on your back under the vehicle.

Simply drilling out the hole and re-tapping for the next largest thread size for which a plug is available is probably the most practical and least expensive solution: all you need is the correct diameter tap drill, a tap, and a new oversize plug. It's no longer the original plug size, but who cares as long as it seals reliably?

Unless you have substantial mechanical skills, I'd recommend pulling the transfer case and taking it to a specialty machine shop where they can do the installation of a thread insert or tapping for an oversize plug properly.
 

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I was using a clicker type torque wrench. Wrench was set to 27 lbs but never indicated value was met.

I would never use a rubber type quickie repair. The reason I was evaluating the Eco-Plug was the product is of hardened steel and self taps new threads - there is a mechanical repair. The hollow Drain plug is epoxied in place and oil is drained by pulling a magnetically secured stopper. I had not seen this design before. Just wondering if anyone here had used this product.
 

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I was using a clicker type torque wrench. Wrench was set to 27 lbs but never indicated value was met.

I would never use a rubber type quickie repair. The reason I was evaluating the Eco-Plug was the product is of hardened steel and self taps new threads - there is a mechanical repair. The hollow Drain plug is epoxied in place and oil is drained by pulling a magnetically secured stopper. I had not seen this design before. Just wondering if anyone here had used this product.
If you correctly set your clicker torque wrench to 27 ft-lbs, and the torque wrench is still within calibration limits, then it's possible that the threads had been previously damaged.

You stated that you 'stripped half the threads'. Are you sure that you had the correct OEM Toyota plug, and not a shorter plug with fewer threads?

27 ft-lbs of torque on a plug with 5 threads engaged applies much more stress to the threads than a plug with 10 threads engaged.

Did the plug have a debris magnet in it?
 

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This is why I never use a torque wrench on drain plugs. Number of misthreaded, stripped drain plug bolts over 40 years = 0; number of drain plugs lost or backed out = 0. There is a lot to be said for having a feel for tightness.
Not sure that I understand this statement.

Are you implying that applying the correct (manufacturer-specified) tightening torque when installing an undamaged drain plug into an undamaged drain pan (or transfer case, differential, etc.) will cause thread damage???

Please explain the reasoning behind this.

I 100% agree with your comment about having a 'feel' for tightness. After 50+ years or wrenching (with a good portion of that devoted to tiny watch-size fasteners like #0-80 or M1.6) I don't use a torque wrench for oil drain plugs either. But for hyper-critical fasteners like head bolts, con-rod bolts, crank main bearing cap bolts, etc. use of an accurate torque wrench is MANDATORY.
 

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piratejason - when was the last time your clicker torque wrench was calibrated? This will not be the first time I've heard of an out of adjustment torque wrench causing someone trouble like this. I use a beam type because they cannot go out of adjustment without you knowing it, though they are less convenient to use.

x2 FJTests question - was the plug being used shorter than the mating hole threads? If so, perhaps a previous oil change got them mixed up and if a short one was put in which didn't engage all of the threads, that could explain why the proper torque stripped the threads (torque values are determined based on a certain number of threads).

SilvFox - you, and me, and FJ have tons of experience and "feel", but for average, weekend wrenchers, it is wise to advocate to use a torque wrench rather than not. It is far better to know a task is properly done, than to guess. In this case, kudos to pirateJason for using one because that rules out the likelihood that it was overtorqued (unless the torque wrench being used was way out of calibration).

Story time:
I bought a used car with a drain plug in the transmission that simply. would. not. seal.
Upon deeper investigation found the original had been stripped out, then a quick oil change place quickly drilled it out and ran in a helicoil, but they drilled the hole on an angle, making it impossible for the plug face to seal the hole. There was a great big "quick fix" washer with a rubber ring in it, which also didn't work (but helped, some).
I eventually had to VERY carefully grind down the mating face surface until it was square to the new, crooked hole. Being an aluminum case it didn't take all that long to get it right, and its been fine for years and years ever since.

That's FJ's concern about trying to repair something like this in place: the hole made to repair the stripped threads must be drilled exactly perpendicular to the mating face to avoid causing new issues.
 

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I doubled up on the copper washers and went to simple tight with feel to stop the binding. Don't tell me it's going to fall out or leak because it hasn't in years of this practice. I change the fluids every time I renew the tags and it,s an 08


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I doubled up on the copper washers and went to simple tight with feel to stop the binding. Don't tell me it's going to fall out or leak because it hasn't in years of this practice. I change the fluids every time I renew the tags and it,s an 08


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What does 'doubling up' the copper washers do, except add one more possible 'seep' location: the interface BETWEEN the two washers?

And by adding one more washer, you reduce the thread engagement by close to one complete thread ... increasing the stress on the threads that are engaged.

I'm not doubting that it has worked for you, just curious about the reasoning behind using two copper washers.
 

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Looking at my plug it appears the washer was thinner than the shoulder on the plug. Don’t tell what it could or could not do because after 11 oil changes the frozen plug is gone and I have no leaks. That’s just the fact. If my aunt had balls she we would be my uncle. Woulda coulda shoulda you say.


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Looking at my plug it appears the washer was thinner than the shoulder on the plug. Don’t tell what it could or could not do because after 11 oil changes the frozen plug is gone and I have no leaks. That’s just the fact. If my aunt had balls she we would be my uncle. Woulda coulda shoulda you say.


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Just curious ... the 'frozen' plug you mentioned ... that was on the transfer case, or a diff, or ?? On the three Toyota 4WD trucks I've owned, the front diff fill and drain plugs were by far the hardest to remove (tightest) for their first oil change.

And you change ALL lubricants EVERY year, regardless of odometer?
 

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The clamshell fill plug. About the clamshell, the lowest bolt holding the halves together fell out creating a leak. It was a factory virgin, never touched by anyone else. Luckily a new bolt fixed the leak. My registration is when I do fluid change. Engine oil is different schedule. I use synthetic in engine and Dino everywhere else.


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Not sure that I understand this statement.

Are you implying that applying the correct (manufacturer-specified) tightening torque when installing an undamaged drain plug into an undamaged drain pan (or transfer case, differential, etc.) will cause thread damage???

Please explain the reasoning behind this.

I 100% agree with your comment about having a 'feel' for tightness. After 50+ years or wrenching (with a good portion of that devoted to tiny watch-size fasteners like #0-80 or M1.6) I don't use a torque wrench for oil drain plugs either. But for hyper-critical fasteners like head bolts, con-rod bolts, crank main bearing cap bolts, etc. use of an accurate torque wrench is MANDATORY.
My comment about drain plugs only relates to those and to non-critical bolts. I use torque wrench on suspension items and during any engine rebuild.

Maybe because I have typically owned used equipment, I am very wary of stripping out drain bolts. Even more so on aluminum engine cases such as motorcycles. Alum just feels different than steel when you snug them down and you have to be careful not to give it that extra little bit of snugness.

I figure that manufacturers torque spec for the drain bolt was probably valid when it was assembled dry on the assembly line and with a brand new crush washer. Hold onto your hat here though, i dont regularly replace any crush washers or gaskets unless they are leaking. In addition, I closely inspect the threads on bolt and the threaded hole, I also note whether steel or aluminum and then note whether the washer is plastic, gasket material, alum, steel or copper and modifying my "snugging" procedure based on that. Guess I have just been lucky to have a feel for it. The other thing is that with humans involved, it wouldnt surprise me that the torque wrench that has been bouncing around the tool box for years is not calibrated correctly, or not set correctly or used properly. So, I am not really doubting the manufacturers torque spec, it is all the other human factors that make me shy away from torquing drain plugs.
 

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SilvFx -

I'm generally in agreement with most of your post.

In inexperienced hands, a broken or out-of-calibration torque wrench is more dangerous than a hand ratchet because there is no pre-existing 'feel' for when the wrench should click.

The OE Toyota fiber-faced drain plug gaskets are good for many uses, I generally replace them after 3 oil changes, or if there is any visible deterioration of the fiber facings. Never had any hint of seepage ...

I'm pretty sure Toyota's drain plug torque specs are field service specs, and are already de-rated to compensate for well-lubricated threads.

The real bottom line is that the objective of 'torquing' a fastener is to stretch it very slightly so that it functions like an extension spring, pulling the underside of the bolt head down against the clamping surface, and pulling the flanks of the male threads up against the flanks of the female threads. It's this friction between the head of the fastener and in the threads that prevents the fastener from loosening.

There is a very, very subtle 'feel' after a fastener has been tightened to the point where all the clearances have been taken out, where additional rotation is actually stretching the bolt shank and the the threads. An 8" long head bolt has a lot more 'stretch' than a 1/2" long drain plug, so the 'feel' is very different.

A completely different situation is developing a feel for the maximum amount of torque you can apply to a 'stuck' bolt before it breaks. You can again use a torque wrench, and limit the removal torque to no more than ~120% of the install torque value. If it doesn't budge, STOP and take some other action like soaking with penetrating oil, applying heat, impact, etc.

If you have developed that 'feel' for the maximum torque that a bolt of a given size can withstand, then you just apply that torque, and either the bolt comes out intact, or you take other measures. But it's never 'just apply more brute force'.

How many times have we read where someone was trying to remove a skid plate, and "broke off three of the four damn bolts" ?
 
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